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Old September 13th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #1
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xl1s on video deposition

Hello everyone!

I have an offer to shoot a video deposition and I'll be using my xl1s since it has the capability of burning the time and date stamp.

Given the idea that depositions are videotaped with long hours (2-6 hours I think) and changing tapes every hour is going to interup the sessions, and lawyers don't like that.

I was wondering if I could record direct to a 2 hours tape vhs recorder using the composite cable. I did a test on it, but my dilema is that, the time and date on the xl1s camera will not function unless I put a mini dv tape on the camera and hit the record button. And mini dv tape records only about an hour, So what's the use, right! it will interup the vhs recording everytime I re-load a tape in the camera.

I have a dsr-11 recorder, and I was thinking if It's a good idea of using that as a master, since I can record 3 hours using the dvcam tape thru the firewire of the camera.

Or, I was thinking of buying a time and date genarator and just hook it up to the vhs recorder, or will a time lapse video recorder do the job since it has a built-in time and date stamping?

I appreciate all expert advice and also if you can post a picture of your gear or equipment set-up for this kind of job, I will highly appreciate it.

Thank you,

Rickey
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #2
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If recording to VHS from the analog output and you need a tape in the XL1s to get time code, consider inserting an 80 minute MiniDV tape in the XL1s and set it to LP speed. That will give 2 hours before you need to change the tape. But do not count on the LP speed MiniDV tape being reliably readable if played back on another machine, or even the same machine a year or two later.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #3
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Before you buy new equipment,

find out what medium the attorney (or receiving party, i.e. the court) wants, e.g. VHS, DVD, miniDV tape, CD. I haven't shot any depos myself, but have performed copy work for other vids who have. Once I even had to create an MPEG-2 on DVD...NOT an entire DVD, just an MPEG-2 file ON DVD. (A picky attorney might even try to argue that, in itself, is an alteration of the "original", though I've never heard of that happening).

One big consideration in determining which medium to use seems to be what the court is capable/used to dealing with. That's important if objections are made during the dep, so a judge can spin forward to the objection and rule on it without watching the entire dep. If a judge or the courts aren't set up to watch the dep easily and on their own, it would be terribly embarrassing for the deposing attorney. (Be sure to keep a log of the objections so the judge can do that).

One of the 2 better-known "legal certifying" organizations recommends that the "master" ALWAYS be recorded to VHS, as post-deposition alterations/editing are easier to detect, (i.e. there s/b NONE whatsoever). There are various arguments for/against VHS. (One vid I've spoken to laughs at the idea of using it, while others I know ALWAYS use it). I've never heard of a dep being challenged for authenticity, but a brazen lawyer supposedly could get one excluded if, for example, lighting and/or audio is bad, there's too much camera movement, and a variety of other reasons that might distract a jury, or even a single juror, from concentrating on the deponent and his/her testimony, or casting a deponent in a "bad light" (no pun intended).

One other thing to expect (at least in my state) is to provide an audio cassette of the entire deposition to the stenographer. In my area, they pretty much expect it, even though it's only a courtesy and not legally required of the videographer. If you'll provide that, keep in mind that the audio tape will also need to be changed/flipped.

Other methods/arguments I've heard are to record the dep in LP, even though you might be using miniDV tape. The thought being "this isn't cinematography", and that stretches the time between tape changes to more than an hour.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 05:12 PM   #4
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What about recording firewire to a laptop or firestore?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:32 PM   #5
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Thank you for your input

Don:
I think I'll go with the idea of recording in LP mode using the 180 min. mini dv
at the same time recording it direct to a vhs.

Dennis:
Medium formats will be VHS, DVD, mini dv and mpeg-2, each different lawyers will ask for different format.

Jack:
I already thought about that process, but as being stated by Dennis ""master" ALWAYS be recorded to VHS, as post-deposition alterations/editing are easier to detect"

So I'll play safe.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #6
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See also The Ultimate Video Deposition Skinny

Part One: http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/business/tauger1.php

Part Two: http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/business/tauger2.php

Written by our own Paul Tauger, Attorney at Law.
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